As an avid juicer, I’ve found that there are certain types of vegetables better suited for producing more juice and less pulp. But even many of today’s juicers can sometimes have trouble getting things like leafy greens processed without running them through a machine several times. And some veggies also carry more health benefits. Knowing this, I have decided to seek out the best vegetables to juice as a way to avoid getting the same nutrients on top of each other, thereby diversifying my dietary intake. You can do the same by reading the list below, so let’s get started!
The Best Vegetables for Juicing (And why They are Important)
If you want to know which greens to get and the convenience it will have to your health, read about each type of produce and all the ways your body and diet will become more nutritious from the vegetables. Most of the healthiest veggies to juice will already be familiar to you, but there’s always room for more facts you may not be familiar with.
#1 Carrots Are Great for your Eyes And Stomach
Carrots remain one of the most nutritious vegetables to juice. For a long time, many have known how beneficial carrots are for lowering the risk of getting eye diseases. But how exactly? The famous vegetable is a dietary carotenoid, the yellowish-orange substance that gives the root its distinct color. It’s also found in other vegetables such as tomatoes and squash. Carrots have high levels of Alpha-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Consuming it in regular amounts lowers the oxidative effects of the body that lead to cell damage that causes some cancers to form, stroke, and vision impairment. The vegetable can also lower the chances of acquiring gastric cancer later in life, one of the most common forms of cancer in the world.
#2 Celery Can Reduce Your Blood Pressure
Celery is great as a standalone snack that’s well suited for juicing. Machines are even designed to shred an entire celery stick without cutting. They generate lots of juice that’s nearly identical in yield to citrus fruits. You’ve probably consumed the plant with a dip, a fast way to get lots of vitamin K in your diet. It’s also shown to at least partially reduce the chances of developing consistent high blood pressure. And there’s plenty of antioxidants to go around, so important organs within your body will have a reduction in damages brought on from aging and/or a past lifestyle of eating unhealthy foods. It’s the best vegetable to juice for anyone with a history of systolic (artery) problems, so drink up if you know you’re at risk.
#3 Cucumber Can Relieve Inflammation of the Skin
Cucumber is another large-bodied vegetable with loads of health benefits. It can reduce skin irritations commonly found on people who are sensitive to sunlight. The results are almost akin to having a good moisturizer (that you can eat!). Swelling from rashes is lowered, along with day-to-day occurrences like insect bites and cuts. It’s a body cleanser, helping to get rid of waste in your organs that’s difficult for our natural defenses to pass through on its own. If you’re a diabetic, take note: Cucumber helps to block the disease’s frequent symptoms of fatigue and headaches. It assists the body in allowing blood sugar levels to remain stable, so having a glass of cucumber juice alone every day might lessen the number of insulin shots you’ll need over time.
#4 Zucchini Can Prevent Breast Cancer and Tumor Growth
Zucchini, a summer squash, is not only a great tasting vegetable that juices easily. As a beta-carotene, the plant allows high levels of vitamin A into the bloodstream. And there’s also its positive effect of preventing breast cancer in some individuals. As any vegetable that’s classified as a carotene, eating and drinking zucchini juice regularly could block the formation of cancer cells, most notably those which lead to the diagnosis of the infamous affliction.
This also has the benefit of lowering the chances of acquiring tumors, since genetic material is destroyed by cancer cells (one of the causes of tumors). Additionally, Zucchini juice is a great way of flushing out residue from the kidneys, a problem that can develop into painful kidney stones. And potassium levels are efficient enough to negate the side effects of having too much sodium in the bloodstream, something that can lead to all sorts of arterial and central nervous system problems.
If you or someone you know has or wishes to take steps in preventing the types of cancer mentioned from occurring, or simply need to boost daily intake of potassium, definitely add zucchini juice into your palette of produce to juice. Not all of the best greens for juicing have the same cancer benefits. You just might add years of health to your life, made possible by regular consumption of the squash.
#5 Kale Strengthens the Cardiovascular System and Reduces Spikes in Blood Glucose
Have you ever eaten a meal during breakfast or dinner, and felt an increase in your blood pressure? It’s not something that’s always easy to notice. Some meals, such as those containing pork or high levels of salt, will place more strain on the heart and arteries once food begins to pass through the digestive system. As you’ve probably come to learn by now, juicing veggies will improve the conditions of your heart and blood pressure. Kale continues by dropping the risk of heart disease, especially in those who have high cholesterol.
This is important, as kale juice can oftentimes be difficult to strain (more info on a juicer capable of doing so below). Blood sugar levels also stay relaxed; the juice keeps plasma at safe levels by removing excessive glucose from the blood and into the kidney, so as to be passed through during urination. Kale greens rank high as some of the best veggies to juice for vegans, due to their need for probiotics. Drink a kale-infused beverage right after you eat to eliminate the faint symptoms that are associated with hypertension. And try to take away the foods that create it in the first place!
#6 Sweet Potatoes Can Minimize the Effects of Inflammation
Sweet potatoes are another surefire way to keep inflammation at bay. Inflammation is one of the root causes of most life-threatening diseases that are associated with humans. This might come as a surprise to you because inflammation is often seen as something that actually prevents infections from happening. While this is true, debilitating effects can happen over time as it becomes chronic with age. Sweet potatoes are a healthy way to lower the manifestations that lead to harmful inflammation. With controlled inflammation comes less cancer risk, one of the perks of using the plant for your juicing. You could even take it as a medicine for rejuvenating your skin’s complexion from unwanted scars and cuts. Vegetables for juicing don’t always have to be the same “green” items, so try out sweet potatoes when in the mood for something different.
#7 Spinach Is Great for your Skin
If you like being outdoors, covering up to protect yourself from UV radiation is detrimental to avoiding sunburn and over more harmful illnesses over the years. Skin cell damage can happen to everyone on earth that spends prolonged time out in the sun. Whether it be the beach or in the dead of winter, sunburn can be a painful experience that develops itchy rashes from irritating and itchy damage to skin cells in the area in question, most likely the ears, face, arms, or legs. Since the days of Popeye the Sailor Man, spinach has been rightfully marketed as one of the healthiest veggies consumed. It produces some of the healthiest vegetable juice. Superficially, the leafy green reverses skin cell damage. As a beta-carotene, the result decreases the traits that cause heartburn, cramps, and more serious sicknesses like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s. And, like many leafy green vegetables, spinach juice will keep you in charge of your heart’s overall health through the years, so long as you keep it in your diet plan over the years.
Best Type of Vegetable Juicer (To get the Most Nutrients out of Your Greens)
The best juicer for vegetables is twin gears, which are particularly effective at liquifying leafy greens. You’ll find that a recurring issue amongst juicer enthusiasts is the lack of juicers that are able to completely break down small plant material, such as spinach or kale.
The Tribest GSE-5000 Greenstar Elite Cold Press Masticating Juicer is wonderful for nearly all greens, with the exceptions of wheatgrass.
There are several components to its design that give it an upper hand among other masticating juicers, a description that doesn’t properly define everything the machine is capable of doing for your beverages. Two twin gears, shaped like large pieces of licorice candy found in its interior, rotate inward to each other, dissolving vegetables into a liquid yet keeping in much of the nutrients that other juicers tend to remove in a large amount.
It’s a slow-moving process that keeps the motor from heating up at a fast rate. Just be sure that you begin your work early; produce must be chopped well before being placed into the chute, which is quite small in size. The best greens to juice with it are celery, carrots, and spinach. All other veggies mentioned are compatible with the GSE-5000, so if you want high yield with pulp that’s almost completely dry, consider this for your first option.
Even the best juicer for greens will have setbacks, especially in regard to how the process flows. For instance, some juicers perform better when certain types of veggies are passed through first, lessening the chance of backups happening. Take your time to understand how your juicer performs, then experiment until you get comfortable with a pattern that’s suitable for the drinks you aim to create.
How to Juice Without a Juicer
The best vegetables to juice don’t require a fancy new machine to process. If you want, you can use a blender and get the same results, just with a little bit more manual labor. Granted, it might take up a tad bit longer, but you’ll love your drinks just the same. Just follow these directions:
Take out the number of veggies you want to juice, wash thoroughly, and cut into smaller pieces. Using a clean blender, add the contents into the pitcher with water. How much water you add is dependent on the amount of produce you blend. Fewer vegetables mean less water. Once you have everything set, close and blend anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute. If your blender’s strong enough, you could have one or two ice cubes to keep the juice from warming up.
Once blended, take a medium to large size bowl and grab a clean towel. The towel will be used to strain the juice into the bowl. If available, you could substitute this with cheesecloth, which strains faster and could leave you with more juice. Place the towel/cheesecloth over the bowl and pour the mixture over the setup. Be sure not to put too much. Pick up the towel and wrap the ends over the mix, then squeeze until you see juice ring from the bottom. Add lots of pressure to get maximum juice yield. Once finished, either refrigerate or enjoy immediately. You can use this method for most produce but kale is one of the best greens to juice in this manner since some juicers have a hard time getting its liquid separated from the pulp automatically. Another good one is sweet potatoes. It’s one of the easier vegetables to juice and passes through cloth very quickly.
Before you stock up on the produce you want to juice, follow these tips so the beverages you make will turn out even better. I’ll cover everything from farmers markets, veggie storage, and cutting techniques. You’re well on your way to getting the best vegetable juice when you’re connected to growers in your area.
Buying Organic/Juicing on a Budget
- Visual Indicators – Of course, organic produce should always be checked for freshness; you should never get anything that has spots or marks —clear indicators that the vegetable is almost past its shelf life. But that’s not all. All organic fruits and vegetables will have a sticker somewhere on the label or container. It’s known as a PLU number, sort of like a serial number but with only five digits. If the number you see doesn’t begin with a “9,” it means that the product is NOT organic. Collectively, ordinary greens will start with 4 while anything that’s genetically modified (GMO) begins with 8.
- Savings – Typically, organic produce is much more expensive than buying conventional green food. If you’re trying to save money while juicing, research on the price differences between your local growers and larger operations. Sometimes, independent growers will produce organic food but won’t carry the labeling on their vegetables. Buying this way can also result in huge price differences from the things you see at mainstream retail grocers. For more information on your local farmers, visit Local Harvest and see if there’s anyone near you that sells the produce you need at a better rate.
- Farmer’s Markets – These are often the best places to find wholesale vegetables at great prices. They’re also beneficial to local farmers in your area. There’s a good chance that if a farmer’s market is close by, you’re better off getting all produce at such a place than shopping at chain stores, due to cutting out the middleman. Fewer hands mean more savings for consumers. And the best part is getting veggies much faster than the latter way. At the right time of year, you might end up with veggies that were on the field — on the same day!
- The Seasons – All vegetables, including organic greens, will have seasons or periods during the year where the yield is high. You’ll usually know when because retailers will put sales on their produce. Alternatively, many local farmers will also offer higher bulk purchases, depending on the quarter or time of harvest. For example, oranges are often at their peak during the months of January, February, and March (first quarter), so they can typically be bought cheaper during mid-winter. It may get a little trickier with greens, however. It could also vary from state to state. If you stay in a state or region that receives mild to cool weather for nearly the entire year, some of your produce might be shipped from warmer regions and remain at a high price throughout the year.
- Juice Pulp Storage – The last important part is making sure that you’re storing the pulp correctly. There are two primary ways for you to do it, either through simple refrigeration in a sealable container, or dry storage after it is dehydrated. If you’re going to keep it cool, remember to add to the freezer. Unless you already have one, a dehydrator is very useful for this. Otherwise, you could simply place the pulp on a baking sheet with parchment paper at the bottom, then pop it in the oven at a low temperature until there’s no moisture left.
How to Extend the Life of your Veggies
I’ve already gone over CSA programs and farmers markets, which are also ways to increase the life of your vegetables since you get them when they’re younger. But what else? Here are some good pointers to remember the next time you’re grocery shopping:
- Don’t make too many stops – This can apply to any perishable item that you buy but never is it more important with vegetables, which will bring on decay quickly the longer you store it in your car. When you’re purchasing them, don’t let it sit in your vehicle for too long. Try to finish your grocery shopping dead last if you can. That way, you can go straight to your home and place them in cool storage fast.
- Cut off the tips – One of the first places that veggies will show decay is around the roots or tops. If they look fresh when bought, it’s a good chance that won’t be the case several hours later. If left on the plants, they might spread to the larger portions of your veggies. Get a knife and cut them as soon as you arrive home with your produce, saving the cut tops in a separate container if need be. Beets and carrots are some examples of vegetables that have large rooted tops.
What to Do with the Pulp
If you can, never throw away your juice pulp! There are lots of innovating dishes that you can make with it, including cookies, smoothies, juice pulp crackers, and delicious vegetable broths. You could even use it as a fertilizer for your own garden. Here’s a muffin recipe you could try out with the pulp leftover from carrots:
Breakfast Juice Pulp Muffins
- For breakfast muffins
- 60 grams of carrots or mixed pulp (preferable)
- 3/4 cups of oatmeal
- 5 fluid ounces (150 milliliters) of almond milk
- 7 dates
- 1 banana
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. of baking powder
- Preheat your oven to about 240 degrees (Fahrenheit).
- Stir the carrot pulp with oatmeal, almond milk, dates, banana, eggs, and baking powder until everything is evenly dispersed. Add dates.
- Separate the mixture between 8 to 10 sections.
- Place in the center of your oven between 25 and 35 minutes.
- Allow everything to cool and serve!
Vegetables make up some of the most important nutrients in our lives. From fiber to vitamins, there’s nothing wrong with eating (or in this case, drinking) lots of healthy greens. Finding the best vegetables for juicing is important and has many factors in between that should be noted before you splurge. You’ll be happy you did once you’ve finished shopping for the items you want.
The more you know, the better you’ll enjoy your diet. I believe it’s essential that consumers know as much information as possible in order to find the best juicer for greens and produce to go along with it, the basis of my desire in sharing juicing knowledge with you. Anyhow, this was a fun list that I hope you enjoyed. Please leave feedback to let me know what you think!